Re: For Whom the Gate Tolls?

From: Professor L.W. Hurtado <hurtadol_at_DIV.ED.AC.UK>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 11:45:55 +000

Prof. Harnad wrote:

> The optimal solution is an on-line-only refereed journal literature,
> free for all, its much reduced costs paid through author-end page
> charges. To achieve that, publishers have to be persuaded that this is
> indeed in the learned community's best interest, that it is what they
> want and need, that publication must be on-line-only, and that the
> costs must be recovered at the author end instead of the reader end
> (through Subscription/Site-License/Pay-Per-View [S/SL/PPV]).
> How do you suggest the learned community make its preferences known, as
> long as the paper cardhouse, and the financially firewalls supporting
> it, remain in place?

Two points in reply:
--I repeat, making authors pay for dissemination of their research is not
universally feasible, for research sectors outside of the U.S. science/grant-
based model of research, which overlooks nearly all humanities research, & a
good deal of social-science research. End-user payment seems to me a
necessary option, at least for those fields. Traditional subscription charges
seem to me still possible, at least for some fields.
--My suggestion for moving publishers (whether acad. societies or more
commercial ones) toward serious e-journals (not merely e-versions of paper
journals) is that learned societies (a) take the lead in moving in this direction,
giving thereby the medium the acad. credibility sorely needed to change the
"culture", (b) develop shared and widely used protocols for the refereeing,
archiving/preservation, indexing, and dissemination & cost-payment of e-
journals, so that we proceed with some comparative order, and (c) initiate
contacts with univ. acad. administrators to help foster acceptance and
appreciation of the e-medium of publication, further helping to "indiginize" the
medium to academia and promote the full acceptance of e-journal publication
(e.g., for tenure, promotion, etc.), thus helping to attracting high quality

L. W. Hurtado
University of Edinburgh,
New College
Mound Place
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LX
Phone: 0131-650-8920
Fax: 0131-650-6579
Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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